Mcalpineite, Cu3TeO6·H2O, A New Mineral from the McAlpine Mine, Tuolumne County, California, and from the Centennial Eureka Mine, Juab County, Utah1

Andrew C. Roberts, T. Scott Ercit, Alan J. Criddle, Gary C. Jones, R. Scott Williams, Forrest F. Cureton II and Martin C. Jensen
Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0E8
Research Division, Canadian Museun of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1P 6P4
Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
Canadian Conservation Institute, 1030 Innes Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C8
The Cureton Corporation, P.O. Box 85445, Tucson, Arizona, USA. 85754-5445
Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, USA. 89557-0047
1Geological Survey of Canada Contribution Number 32893

Abstract: Mcalpineite, ideally Cu3TeO6·H2O, occurs as isolated 0.5 mm-sized emerald green cryptocrystalline crusts on white quartz at the long-abandoned McAlpine mine, Tuolumne County, California, U.S.A. Associated nonmetallic phases are muscovite (mariposite), calcite, goethite, hematite, chlorargyrite, choloalite, keystoneite, mimetite, malachite, azurite, annabergite and a host of unidentified crusts, both crystalline and amorphous. Associated metallic minerals include pyrite, acanthite, hessite, electrum, altaite, native silver, galena, pyrargyrite, sphalerite and owyheeite. The mineral has also been identified at the Centennial Eureka mine, Juab County, Utah, U.S.A., where it occurs as interstitial olive-green coatings and as millimetre-sized dark green-black cryptocrystalline nodules lining drusy quartz vugs. Associated minerals are xocomecatlite, hinsdalite-svanbergite, goethite and several new species including two hydrated copper tellurates, a hydrated copper-zinc tellurate/tellurite, and a hydrated copper-zinc tellurate/tellurite-arsenate-chloride. Mcalpineite is cubic, P-lattice (space group unknown), a = 9.555(2) Å, V = 872.4(4) Å. The strongest six lines in the X-ray powder-diffraction pattern [d in Å (I) (hkl)] are: 4.26(40)(210), 2.763(100)(222), 2.384(70)(400), 1.873(40)(431,510), 1.689(80)(440) and 1.440(60)(622). The average of four electron-microprobe analyses (McAlpine mine) is CuO 50.84, NiO 0.17, PbO 4.68, SiO2 0.65, TeO3 39.05, H2O (calc.) [4.51], total [100.00] wt. %. With O = 7, the empirical formula is (Cu2.79Pb0.09Ni0.01)∑2.89(Te0.97Si0.05)∑1.02O5.90·1.10H2O. This gives a calculated density of 6.65. g/cm3 for Z = 8. The average of two electron-microprobe analyses (Centennial Eureka mine) is CuO 51.2, ZnO 3.1, TeO3 39.0, SiO2 0.2, As2O5 0.8, H2O (by CHN elemental analyser) 7, total 101.3 wt. %, leading to the empirical formula (Cu2.56Zn0.15)∑2.71 (Te0.88Si0.02As0.02)∑0.92O5.47·1.53H2O. The infrared absorption spectrum shows definite bands for structural H2O with an O-H stretching frequency centred at 3320 cm−1 and a H-O-H flexing frequency centred at 1600 cm−1. In reflected light Mcalpineite is isotropic, nondescript grey, with ubiquitous brilliant apple to lime green internal reflections. The refractive index calculated from Fresnel equations is 2.01. Measured reflectance values in air and in oil are tabulated. Reflectance study also shows that cryptocrystalline aggregates are composed of micron-sized sheaves of fibrous or prismatic crystals. Other physical properties include: adamantine lustre; light green streak; brittle; uneven fracture; translucent to transparent and nonfluorescent under both long- and short-wave ultraviolet light. The name is for the first known locality, the McAlpine mine.

Keywords: Mcalpineite • new mineral • McAlpine mine • California • U.S.A. • Centennial Eureka mine • Utah • reflectance data • X-ray data • electron-microprobe analyses • infrared-absorption study

Mineralogical Magazine; September 1994 v. 58; no. 392; p. 417-424; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1994.058.392.07
© 1994, The Mineralogical Society
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